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TOPIC: came out of the session pain-free.

came out of the session pain-free. 1 week 5 days ago #4803

  • liny195
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The Atlanta Falcons enter the offseason forced to address this startling new reality: Defense is the team’s new strength.

That means there are new concerns on offense.

Only one year after Atlanta led the league in scoring in its 2016 Super Bowl season Arden Key Color Rush Jersey , the offense was no better than middling in the league.

It was appropriate that a season of regression on offense – and improvement on defense – ended with a scoreless second half in a 15-10 divisional round playoff loss at Philadelphia on Saturday.

First-year offensive coordinator Steve Sarkasian was the easy target to blame for Atlanta’s sharp decline in scoring , but there were other problems.

Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman each missed time with concussions. Left guard Andy Levitre was placed on injured reserve before a wild-card win over the Rams with a triceps injury.

Quarterback Matt Ryan couldn’t repeat his 2016 MVP production. Julio Jones was held to only three touchdown catches – his low total since having two in 2013, when he played only five games. He couldn’t catch a last-chance, fourth down pass in the end zone from the Eagles 2.

The Falcons tumbled from first to 15th in scoring.

”I think that’s certainly something that we have to look at and evaluate this offseason,” Ryan said. ”There were too many times that we were a little bit inconsistent.”

While the core of the defense is young, the window is closing for the leaders of the offense. Ryan will be 33 next season – the last year on his six-year, $103.75 million contract. Jones will be 29.

Recent history provides a reason to give Sarkasian another season with the offense.

There was much talk that Ryan and Kyle Shanahan were not on the same page in Shanahan’s first year leading the offense in 2015, and Shanahan then won praise when the Falcons led the league with 33.8 points per game in 2016. The turnaround helped Shanahan land a job as San Francisco’s head coach.

Jones noted the Falcons had ”new pieces” this season, including Sarkasian.

”Everybody has to be on the same page and it takes time,” Jones said. ”It takes more than one year. … We are a much better offense than we showed for sure. That is just on us http://www.chargersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-justin-jones-jersey , on all of us.”

Here are some things to know about the Falcons following their 11-7 season:

FREE AGENCY: Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff are expected to talk on Wednesday about their offseason plans. Decisions must be made on attempts to re-sign such key free agents as defensive tackle Dontari Poe, defensive end Adrian Clayborn and kicker Matt Bryant. Ben Garland, who took over for Levitre at left guard, and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel also are set to enter free agency, as is return specialist Andre Roberts and defensive tackle Courtney Upshaw.

YOUNG D: Linebackers Deion Jones and DeVondre Campbell and safety Keanu Neal were the leaders of a defense which finished in the top 10 in scoring and total yards for the first time since Atlanta’s 1998 Super Bowl season. Those three players, as well as 2016 NFL sacks leader Vic Beasley Jr. and rookie Takkarist McKinley, who had sacks in both playoff games, were drafted following Quinn’s arrival in 2015.

WIN-WIN FOR QUINN: Sure, Atlanta again fell short of its first Super Bowl championship, but there was one postseason first for the franchise. Quinn is the first Atlanta coach to win at least one playoff game in back-to-back seasons. He is 32-21 in three seasons Oren Burks Color Rush Jersey , including the playoffs.

FREEMAN MAY FACE SURGERY: Freeman told ESPN.com he finished the season with a sprained knee. He had 10 carries for only 7 yards against the Eagles despite sprained posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee. He was on the injury report with a knee injury before each playoff game but the details of the injury were not known. He said he didn’t know if surgery would be needed.

STILL KICKING: The 42-year-old Bryant was good on each of his five field goals in the postseason after making 34 of 39 in the regular season. He is 12 for 12 in the postseason since joining the Falcons in 2009.



Brandon Nimmo began the game with an inside-the-park home run. Turned out he was just getting started.

Nimmo homered twice during a huge night at the plate, and the New York Mets finally gave Jacob deGrom some run support Monday in a 12-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

”It took a funny bounce (off the wall), so something was working my way for that first at-bat,” Nimmo said. ”That was pretty cool and a great way to start it off. Just kind of loosened things up after that.”

Wilmer Flores and Devin Mesoraco also went deep for New York, which won its third straight following a prolonged slide. Nimmo had four hits and set a career high with four RBIs – one night after his go-ahead, two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning staved off defeat for the Mets and rallied them to a win at Arizona.

”I think everybody knew he was capable of playing at an elite level and that is pretty elite,” New York manager Mickey Callaway said. ”He goes out there and plays the game right every single day. He brings energy and it’s paying off for him.”

After pitching in terrible luck for weeks as New York’s hitters slumped, deGrom (5-2) got some help from his teammates at last. He allowed two runs – one earned – in eight innings to snap a two-game skid and win for the first time in six outings since May 18 against the Diamondbacks.

On the eve of his 30th birthday, the right-hander struck out seven, walked one and lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.51. He improved to 4-0 with a 1.01 ERA in six career starts against Colorado.

The 12 runs the Mets scored were more than they managed in deGrom’s previous eight starts combined. He had given up only five earned runs in his last five games – without a single win to show for it.

”I think he’s proven over the last two years that he’s in the conversation as one of the best pitchers in baseball James Washington Color Rush Jersey ,” Rockies manager Bud Black said.

It was the eighth home loss in a row for the Rockies, who have permitted at least seven runs in all those games. Black was ejected in the fourth for arguing a call by first base umpire Bill Welke.

Tyler Anderson (4-2) went 5 1/3 innings for Colorado, yielding three runs and seven hits. And it was another rough outing collectively for the bullpen. Four relievers were tagged for nine runs in 4 2/3 innings.

”We’re going to get out of this funk,” said Jake McGee, who gave up Mesoraco’s homer. ”For how close our clubhouse is, I know we’re going to get out of it. And once we get out of it, we’re going to be stronger than we were before.”

Playing in front of family and friends from his Wyoming hometown, Nimmo got the game off to a rousing start. He lofted a deep drive that hit off the right-center field wall and rolled away from Carlos Gonzalez. By the time the right fielder chased it down, Nimmo had charged past third base and went into home standing up, well ahead of a weak throw.

”I haven’t done that before Saquon Barkley Color Rush Jersey ,” he said. ”That was fun.”

Nimmo became the third Mets player to lead off a game with an inside-the-park home run and first since Angel Pagan on Aug. 23, 2009, against Philadelphia. The previous New York player with an inside-the-park homer was Ruben Tejada on Sept. 2, 2015, also against the Phillies.

Nimmo’s second home run of the night came in the seventh off Harrison Musgrave and went over the center-field fence, allowing him to round the bases at a more conventional pace.

The Mets added six runs in the ninth on a pair of bases-loaded walks by reliever Jeff Hoffman, Amed Rosario’s two-run double and Nimmo’s two-run single.

TOUGH UMP

Plate umpire Tony Randazzo endured a painful night, twice getting struck by foul balls, but he saw it through. He was hit on his left hand by a foul tip off the bat of Nolan Arenado in the third inning but had team trainers wrap some protective tape around his hand and went back to work. In the sixth, a foul ball off the bat of Michael Conforto struck him at the base of his neck just above his protective breastplate. Clearly in pain Bills Josh Allen Jersey , Randazzo was tended to again by trainers but managed to shake it off after a few minutes and stay in the game.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: Slumping RF Jay Bruce was scratched from the lineup because of nagging hip soreness. He has missed four of the last five starts, and Callaway said Bruce will be re-evaluated in the next day or two. Callaway said the disabled list remains an option. … RHP Noah Syndergaard, sidelined since May 26 with a strained ligament in his right index finger, played catch and came out of it well. He’s expected to do some longer tosses, 75 to 80 feet, as part of his ongoing rehab effort.

Rockies: RHP Carlos Estevez faced hitters for the first time since going on the DL with a strain in his pitching elbow near the end of spring training. Estevez threw about 20 pitches to Tony Wolters, Ryan McMahon and Noel Cuevas and reported to team trainers that he came out of the session pain-free.

UP NEXT

Mets: LHP Jason Vargas (2-5, 7.39 ERA) starts Tuesday night at Coors Field.

Rockies: RHP German Marquez (4-7, 5.13) is 0-2 with an 8.44 ERA in three starts this month.



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